SPRINGFIELD — The Effingham County football team held its annual Blue-White game Friday night.
Although a few questions were answered for the Rebels’ coaching staff, it is still looking to fill several positions, many of which are on the offensive line.
"We only have one offensive lineman returning and that is Devontra Bartley as well as tight ends Necos Gadson and Clayton Papp," Rebels head coach Buddy Holder. "Other than that, we are trying to fill roles in right guard, center, left guard and right tackle, which is more pivotal than people realize in the offensive line.
“We lost our inside linebackers to graduation. We are looking to see who is going to step up and play inside linebacker for us."
And, of course, the biggest question of all is who will be the starting quarterback. The Rebels will lose three-year starter Jerid Stokes to graduation so a new leader will have to emerge quickly. Zach Garcia and D'andre Johnson are fighting for the starting role.
"It could go either way," Holder said. "They both had command of the offense and had a lot of positive things but we have a long way to go. There are a lot of things they had to do and consistency is the main thing.
“(We want them to be) running the offense, making reads and being consistent with throws and putting (receivers) in a position where we can catch the ball when it's thrown.”
There will no new wrinkles on offense this year. Holder wants to focus on developing players into his familiar system, knowing it's important to establish consistency so the offensive can gel.
"You don't change things from year to year because you don't build anything like that," Holder said. “We are going to keep doing what we've been doing and continue to get better this year."
The Rebels will lose several linebackers to graduation but Holder is excited about possible defensive replacements because of the dedication he has seen in the weight room.
"Jamari Davis and Buck Johnson return on defense as well as Brandon Hicklen," Holder said. "We have some guys that stepped up and got reps in the weight room this past year and improved their strength and conditioning. We are looking forward to what they can bring."